Using a Meat Thermometer

To ensure perfectly-cooked meat, check doneness with a meat thermometer.

Dial oven-going meat thermometer: For larger meat cuts, such as roast, insert the thermometer before roasting or grilling begins. Insert it at least two inches into the center of the largest muscle or thickest portion of the uncooked meat. The thermometer should not touch any fat or bone or the pan. This type of thermometer can remain in the meat while roasting in the oven or cooking on the grill. When the meat reaches the desired final roasting temperature, push in the thermometer a little farther. If the temperature drops, continue cooking the meat. If it stays the same, remove the meat from the oven or grill. Cover meat with foil and let it stand about 15 minutes before carving. Its temperature will rise 5 degrees F to 10 degrees F during the standing time.

Dial instant-read thermometer: The stem of the thermometer needs to be inserted at least two inches into the food. For thinner foods, such as burgers and chops, insert the stem through the side of the meat cut to get an accurate reading. The thermometer will register the temperature in 15 to 20 seconds. This type of meat thermometer should not be left in food while it's cooking.

Digital instant-read thermometer: The thermometer's probe should be placed at least 1/2 inch into the food and will register the temperature in about 10 seconds. This type of thermometer can be used to check the doneness of larger cuts as well as thinner foods, such as burgers, steaks, and chops. The thermometer should not be left in the food while it's cooking.

Ensure that your meat is safe by using a meat thermometer. We'll show you how to stick it in the meat for the best read.

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